Nigerians have been urged to embrace the use of charity as a veritable means to eradicate poverty and liberate the less privileged from the menace of poverty.
The charge was given by a notable Nigerian cleric, Dr. Abdullah Uthman Ayolo at the 8th Zakat Distribution and Projects Commissioning organized by the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, ZSF, in Ede, Osun State.
ZSF is a non-profit, charitable organization that specialises in collecting and administering Zakat and Sadaqah (compulsory and voluntary Islamic alms giving) from the rich for onward distribution to the poor in line with Islamic injunction.
Ayolo who is the Mudir (Director) of Offa Islamic Foundation posited that giving of Zakat is sacrosanct in Islam and urged well-to-do Nigerians, particularly the Muslims to always give Zakat from their wealth, once it reaches the measure.
He also advised Muslims who cannot give Zakat yet to at least give Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to the less privileged, especially within families and friends, stressing that Allah shall surely reward everyone for his or her good deed, both in this world and the Hereafter.
The Executive Director of ZSF, Prince Sulayman Olagunju explained that 163 indigents of Ede community and other indigenes of Osun benefited from the disbursement of N15,745,000.
He said N7,650,000.00 was allotted to community projects while N3,085,000.00 was spent on economic empowerment of individuals. Other projects included institutional support in the sum of N680,000,00 debt relief of N500,000.00, education support N345,000.00, orphans support N230,000.00 and welfare support in the sum of N560,000.00.
The foundation also renovated the Obada Maternity Center in Ede South and provided water resources to Temidire Arulogun community, among others.
While appreciating those who have been partnering with the foundation to enable it provide for the indigents, Olagunju also implored Muslims across the country to assist in helping the less privileged in their own little way by emulating the ZSF.
Commending the foundation on the laudable projects, the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola urged well meaning individuals, cooperate bodies and other NGOs to emulate ZSF by partnering with the government to banish poverty from the society.
Engineer Bashir Lawal who represented the Governor said societal development should not be seen as the sole responsibility of the government.
“Poverty alleviation or eradication should not be abandoned to the government alone. ZSF must be commended for its persistence in good work, particularly in the renovation of government hospitals, provision of essential materials, drilling of boreholes to communities and empowerment of the downtrodden. The good job has continued despite government minimal encouragement due to economic downturn.
“It is our hope that government shall surely reciprocate the good gesture of the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation in the state of Osun in the very near future,” he said
Two of the beneficiaries of the programme, a tailor, who is a widow, Waliyat Abdulrasaq and a trader, Nafisat Wahab commended the organisers of the programme and prayed that God rewards them accordingly.